By Karen D. Friedman | 03.29.21
We all know that building great relationships is beneficial.
They lead to deep and meaningful connections that create better friendships, stronger family ties, and can even help in business.
At its core, real estate is the business of working with people. It’s important to know how to set up and maintain a good foundation with your clients. Better relationships mean a better overall experience that will lead to more sales and referrals.
First, let’s discuss some ways you can start building relationships that last beyond the first transaction. We will then cover the 6 ways on how to maintain those relationships for lifelong clientele.
Listening is fundamental in creating a good working client relationship. Many agents are not in the habit of really listening to their client. Practicing this skill of active listening will give you insight to your client’s needs. It will let you know what they want and more importantly what they don’t want.Buyers may not always know how to communicate what they want, especially if you are working with a first-time home buyer. Listening will help you narrow down the field and help get them in their perfect home.
This may also be the case when working with sellers.
For example, you may be working with a seller that doesn’t want to hold an open house or place a “For Sale” sign in their yard. Perhaps they are not comfortable with strangers in their home. Maybe they don’t want to advertise to the rest of the world that they are selling for personal reasons.
As a real estate professional, you would still want to advise your client why this wouldn’t be the best approach in selling their home. If your seller still insists, then listen and respect their decision.
It’s then up to you to get resourceful and explore other avenues to get the home sold.
Open communication is key when working with clients.
If you are working with sellers, make sure you are being open and honest when it comes to the condition of their property. This will set the right expectations about how quickly you can sell their home. Especially if there are issues that need to be addressed first.
Be sure to communicate everything that is positive before addressing trouble areas.
A home is a personal place. This will ensure you are being objective and less likely to offend your homeowner.
Remember to follow up with your clients. There are many real estate agents in the field and you want to make sure that your client feels that they made the right choice with you. Be thorough and get all their contact information. This will make following up with them easier.
Here are some great examples on how you can follow-up with clients:
- After the first meeting with a client, call them the next day
- If they are not ready to buy or sell, check in with them once in a while
- Email or send them information of value (Ex. Buyers – Available listings, Sellers – Market Information in their area)
Another great way to create a better client relationship is to get personal. Don’t worry! You won’t be crossing any lines you shouldn’t.
We’re talking about things like finding out when their birthday is. Do they have pets? Do they have children?
Talking with your client about these areas of their lives creates rapport and connection. It is also a great way to tie in this information with your follow up. It gives you a purposeful reason to reach out.
Once you establish a good relationship it’s important to know how to maintain them.
6 Ideas to Maintain a Client Relationship
Now, let’s take a look at some powerful ways to maintain the relationships you create. These are fundamentals ideas help foster and flourish a client relationship you have already created with people.
#1 Gift Giving
A meaningful way to express appreciation is with gift giving.
A gift given to a client that relates to them personally is a wonderful way to go above and beyond. As discussed before, you can base this gift on the information you already have on your client.
A great time for gift giving can be to celebrate certain milestones, like the closing of their first home. To maintain this, you can continue to send a gift on their home anniversary.
Another appropriate time can be on their birthday. Flowers or gift baskets are an easy and convenient way to show that you care and are thinking of them.
Remember that the gifts do not have to be extravagant. A simple gift card to their favorite coffee shop or restaurant is a thoughtful gift that would be appreciated.
#2 Become Top-of-Mind
Unfortunately, we can all fall prey to the philosophy of “out of sight, out of mind.” With so many real estate agents to choose from, it’s important to have your clients remember you in the future.
How does your own branded real estate magazine sound?
There are companies that create the content. They will then brand your image and information within the issue. They then send it directly to your client. You stay top of mind while also providing something of value.
Don’t undervalue the simplicity of a handwritten note or card to keep in touch with your clients. This is a thoughtful way to keep in touch with your clients and have them remember you.
#3 Create a CRM Database
All the important dates and information that you have on your clients should go into a CRM database. CRM stands for “customer relationship management” and does more than store the data.
It is designed to help you take action on the important dates and milestones. A good CRM database system can schedule emails and remind you of those important dates, like birthdays. It can help you create action plans for following up with potential leads and then automate them.
In short, a database will store data and a CRM helps you manage the data within it to take action.
#4 Attend Your Client’s Events
If your client invites you to their family event or gathering, make sure you make the time to attend. Declining may jeopardize the connection you have already made with your client.
You may not be able to attend every event, but make the effort. Making an appearance is better than skipping the event entirely.
Remember, all your client’s events are opportunities to make new connections with their friends and family. Don’t miss out on the introduction to your client’s friend or family member that was ready to buy or sell.
#5 Talk About Real Estate
Let’s go over how you can maintain a client relationship. That’s easy. Talk to your client about what matters to them in real estate!
Whether you have first time buyers, sellers or investors keep the topics relevant. So save the market data and stats for the investors.
LEAD GENERATION TIP:
This is also a great way to get new leads. It’s natural to talk about what you do for a living. So no matter where you are or who you meet, make sure to talk about that open house you had or the new listing you recently got.
If you have a name badge, wear it! It will create an opening for a conversation about real estate. It may also lead to an opportunity to gain a new client.
#6 Let a Client Relationship Grow Organically
The best relationships are those that aren’t forced.
Great relationships are organically formed when you involve good listening and communication. Once that client relationship is built, you can maintain them by continuing to be authentic and genuine.
People will pick up on the sincerity. They will be more likely to give you their continued business and refer you to others as well in the future.
Remember that you are dealing with people first, not businesses. This will go a long way in initially establishing good a client relationship.
Actively listen to your client and have good communication. Once you establish connection, make sure you follow up in a timely manner. Don’t be afraid to get personal and ask what interests your clients. This will make for more meaningful conversations.
When it comes to maintaining a client relationship, just remember to treat your clients as you would want to be treated. You’ll have clients that will last a lifetime.